Friday, November 9, 2007

Smelly marketing

Ed is busy busy BUSY at the moment so not much posting. Just wrote this about my consumer and Buyer behaviour class, pretty interesting I thought...

I found the reading on smell to be very thought provoking, and it changed my opinion on the importance of smell in the sale of certain products. I had previously believed that when all other characteristics were held equal smell could indeed be an important factor in shaping a decision, but these readings suggested that in some cases it is actually the primary motivating factor.

The examples of Palmolive soaps and Starbucks were quite interesting to me seeing as I am a user of both of these products on a reasonably regular basis. The soaps produced by Palmolive do have a quite appealing smell, and you can sniff it through the paper packaging that it comes in, however recently there changed the packaging to cardboard boxes that were in turn wrapped with cellophane. This meant that the smell of the soap could not examined while in the shop without opening up the packet, something retailers would most likely not be particularly happy about, soon after this sales of the single bar in the new packaging began to drop off, but interestingly sales of the paper wrapped soap multi-packs increased as customers switched to the product that they could smell before purchasing.

The coffee retailer Starbucks ran into similar problems when attempting to sell coffee beans in packs that would allow for greater storage time and freshness due to their innovative vacuum packed wrapping that again did not allow for inspection of the products aroma, a feature that is especially important in the sale of coffee, and ultimately sales fell. Starbucks thought about this for a while and rather than change the packaging altogether came up with an innovative adaptation to it. They incorporated husks of the coffee into the paper label that went around the pack, enabling people to smell what the product in the pack was like. A feature that I noticed in some of the branches in New York was that they would also include a trough of the relevant beans in front of the packs that you could sniff to get a sense of what you were buying. And as soon as they did that sales rose again.

1 comment:

jedimasterbooboo said...

I love the way your blog smells. I think it must be the reason I keep coming back.